This is a very sad and very lonely story.
For the last years of her life, Christina Copeman kept to herself.
She stopped answering the door shortly after her estranged husband died in 1990. She turned away from her friends and neighbors in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, ignoring their hellos.
So when Ms. Copeman dropped out of sight altogether, people were not immediately suspicious. Perhaps she had gone back to Trinidad for a vacation, they said. Maybe she had gotten sick there, or decided to stay.
That was nearly two years ago.
Outside Ms. Copeman’s brick row house on East 92nd Street, the days grew longer and shorter again. Mail piled up in the vestibule behind the glass front door. Neighbors collected trash from her porch so she would not get summonses.
Ms. Copeman was upstairs, dead, curled in a fetal position in the hallway, where the police found her skeletal remains on Monday morning, said Peter Bishop, her nephew. She was dressed to go out, in a coat and a beret, Mr. Bishop said.
“Winter clothes on,” he said yesterday, “so I guess she died in the winter.”
Ms. Copeman had died of heart disease, the medical examiner said yesterday. The police said she had been dead between a year and 18 months. Continue reading...